Without doubt the temple of queen hatshepsut is one of the most remarkable structures in egypt , was known as the Djeser-Djeseru ("Holy of Holies") , one of the mortuary temples that built on the west bank of the nile during the 18th dynasty new kingdom , its known now as El Deir el Bahari or the northern monastry , it doesn’t refer to anything ancient just a christian monastry on the top of the site dates back to the 7th century AD , The first monument built at the site was the mortuary temple of Mentuhotep II of the Eleventh dynasty. It was constructed during the 15th century BC.
Women , have played an important role in ancient egyptian history , whether as mothers or wives or as daughters of kings ,Hatshepsut was one of the most important queens who ever ruled egypt , but the importance of queen Hatshepsut lies in the fact that she left behind a lot of monuments which have served to illuminate the periods importance as well as her accomplishments .
Hatshepsut had ruled egypt for a period of 21 years from 1490- 1469 BC , she was the daughter of king Tuhtmosis I who had had no male heir to the throne from his principal wife queen Ahmose , but he had a male from another wife , a son named Tuhtmosis II , so Tuthmosis I ,in order to avoid any fueds following his death ahd united hatshepsut and tuthmosis II in marriage , after the death of Tuthmosis I , Tuthmosis II ruled egypt from the year 1495 – 1490 BC , and he hardly left any monuments due to his short reign , with the death of Tuthmosis II the name of queen Hatshepsut had come into the ancient egyptian history , but again Tuthmosis II had been faced with the same problem as had his father Tuthmosis I , he had had no male heir from his principal wife & sister , he had only a female , and his son Tuthmosis III had been born to another wife .
Hatshepsut had been a very powerful and ambitious woman , she had never forgotten that she had been the rightful heir to the throne after her fathers death ,so after the death of her husband Tuthmosis II , she accepted to share the throne with Tuthmosis III who had been a child ,facts show that she had always been the actual ruler of egypt , in the beginning , she had allowed herself to rule with Tuthmosis III as partner , and had her name inscribed next to his , but later she had crossed out his name and crowned herself as sole heir to the throne of egypt .
The reasons for building the temple of el deir el bahari are obvious and clear like
- Queen hatshepsut wanted to prove her legitamise on the throne of egypt .
- She wanted this temple to be a funerary temple for her family .
- She wanted this temple and the area arround to be the paradise of the god amon-re , this why she added a garden in front of the site .
Queen hatshepsut had some men helping her , the most important one he was senemut her architect ,a man whom we call nowadays a self made man , he had not depended on his connections of his family to reach his position , he started his life as an officer in the time of tithmosis I , and with his diligence had managed to maintain the role of tutor of queen hatshepsuts daughter , he had then become close to the queen hatshepsut , he helped her and supervised most of the architectural projects of her time .
The temple was little more than a ruin when it was excavated by Edouard Naville 1891 , but the work of the polish – egyptian mission , which has laboured at the site since 1961 has led to a great deal of successful reconstruction .
The temple of queen Hatshepsut consider to be the most important structure of he mature years , taking about 8 years to build between her 8th and 16th regnal years , the temple rises in 3 imposing terrace linked by ascending ramps , in the complete structure the approach to the temple was a long a sphinx –lined causeway which led up to pylons which are now gone .
The 1st colonnade
It was largely restored ,to the southern end of the colonnade the walls shows the scenes of boat- building and the transportation of hatshepsuts 2 obelisks that she erected in karnak temple .
While on the north side of th ecolonnade , the walls shows queen hatshepsut offers 4 calves to amon-re .
The second terrace
Reached by a ramp ,but originaly had stairs , on the southern side of the colonnade is the most important and famous scene of the first diplomatic excepedition in history to the land of punt ,as queen hatshepsut she was interested in sending diplomatic & commercial expeditions to the land of punt in order to bring some african goods like ostrich feather , ebony , ivory , incense and leopard skins .
To the south of this colonnade is the chapel of Hathor , has columns where hathor with a womans face and cows ears is shown with her sistrum , the area was much defaced by tuthmosis IIIwho erased hatshepsuts name in many places .
On the north side of the colonnade ,which known as the birth colonnade , the walls shows the stoy of the divine birth of queen hatshepsut as the divine daughter of the god amon-re , to legitamise her position on the throne of egypt, north of this colannade is the Anubis chapel , the shrine consists of a 12 columned hall , the walls shows the god amon-re and anubis receiving large table of offerings from queen hatshepsut but her figures were chiseled out from the walls .
The third terrace
Is being reconstructed by the Polish- Egyptian mission ,in the open roofed chamber to the right is an ancient altar for the cult of Re , the sun god , while the sanctuary is hewn out of the natural rock , and comprise 2 chambers with large recesses to the sides , the innermost chamber was hollowed out of the mountain in ptolemaic times , and was dedicated to the cults of 2 of egypts wise men , Imhotep , the builder of Zosers step pyramid at sakkara , and Amenhotep son of habu , the architect who lived in the reign of Amenhotep III , both these men were worshipped as gods of healings in ptolemaic times .